Why All Forensic Investigators Ought to Become Cyber Forensic Investigators

Forensic investigators depend on the crime scene for a better virtual resurrection of the crime being done. Samples like bullets from weapons, fingerprints from doorknobs, footprints in and around the crime location, strands of hair and many others helped these investigators gather sufficient evidence to support the case.

However, in the past couple of years, with the world becoming digitized, it is only natural that the demand for cyber forensic investigators has increased. Companies like SOS International LLC, Leidos, Infotek Corporations, M & T Bank, Alaka’ina Foundation Family of Companies, Keaki, and many others are on the lookout for candidates who possess the skills to become a Cyber Forensic Investigator.

What is Cyber Forensics?

Computer forensics is simply the application of computer investigation and analysis techniques in the interests of determining potential legal evidence. Evidence might be sought in a wide range of computer crime or misuse, including but not limited to theft of trade secrets, theft of or destruction of intellectual property, and fraud.

Famous Crimes Solved Through Cyber Forensics

1. Dennis Rader – The BTK Strangler

The BTK Strangler was famous for his taunting letters to the local newspaper and law enforcement. Although managing to avoid being caught for over a decade, his crime in 2005 brought about his downfall. After the heinous crime, a floppy disk was sent to the police with a taunting letter on it. With the help of digital forensics investigators, a deleted Microsoft Document file was found on that floppy disk through which they were able to recover the metadata, leading them to the Lutheran Church where Dennis worked as a Deacon. He was then arrested and was sent behind the bars for the rest of his life. [1]

2. Philip Markoff – The Craigslist Killer

In the year 2009, Boston Police investigated a murder case which resembled other murder cases. While inspecting the CCTV footage of the crime scene they were shocked to see a young, handsome, and tall man behind the murders. Philip Markoff, at that time, was a 23-year-old medical student who came to be known as the infamous Craigslist Killer, because of how he would hunt his victims down through Craigslist. His reign of terror came to an end when digital forensic investigators tracked his IP address through the emails he had sent. [2]

What Does a Cyber Forensic Investigator Do?

A Cyber Forensic investigator is a trained individual who works with various law enforcement agencies and other private firms to retrieve information from computing devices, digital storage devices, and much more. Cyber Forensic professionals often look to retrieving crucial data from corrupted devices from the crime scene.

Cyber Forensic Investigators are known for working within law enforcement agencies; however, they may be tasked to run a security test for a private company’s information systems. Regardless, they possess vast knowledge in all aspects of computing devices, hard drives, networking systems, encryption, and much more.

At times, they help build a case against or for an accused organization, company, or individual. During this time they:

  • Perform incident response techniques
  • Examine and analyze text, graphics, multimedia, and digital images
  • Examine and recover data from computer hard drives and other electronic data storage devices
  • Maintain an audit trail
  • Assess internet history and usage, word processing documents, images, and others
  • Recover damaged and deleted data from the OS
  • Use evidence handling procedures to not contaminate the data recovered
  • Evaluate the data and evidence collected to truly analyze the implications of the event
  • Establish threat intelligence and key learning points to support pro-active profiling and scenario modeling
  • Review all digital communications such as email and instant messaging programs
  • Crack password protected files
  • Play the role of a first responder – Securing and evaluating a crime scene, conducting preliminary interviews, documenting crime scenes, collecting and preserving electronic evidence, packaging and transporting electronic evidence, reporting of the crime scene
  • Perform post-intrusion analysis to determine the who, where, what, when, and how the intrusion occurred
  • Provide expert witness testimony in support of forensic examinations conducted

Become a Cyber Forensic Investigator

As technology advances by the day, it is becoming extremely difficult to find authentic evidence to support a case, without a digital footprint. EC-Council, the world’s leading cybersecurity credentialing body, Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI) program provides a strong baseline knowledge of key concepts and practices in the digital forensic domains relevant to today’s organizations. It fortifies the application knowledge of law enforcement personnel, system administrators, security officers, defense and military personnel, legal professionals, bankers, security professionals, and anyone concerned about the integrity of the network infrastructure.